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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R013918/1
Title: Detecting and Monitoring Stroke in China Using a Low-Cost, Portable Microwave Scanner (DeMoStroke)
Principal Investigator: Kosmas, Dr P
Other Investigators:
Chen, Professor Y
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Mediwise Ltd Shenzhen ET Medical Technology Co., Ltd
Department: Informatics
Organisation: Kings College London
Scheme: GCRF (EPSRC)
Starts: 01 February 2018 Ends: 31 January 2022 Value (£): 834,160
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Med.Instrument.Device& Equip.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Nov 2017 EPSRC GCRF Diagnostics, Prosthetics and Orthotics panel November 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The impact of stroke incidents is immense: five million people die and another five million are permanently disabled every year due to stroke incidents, and stroke is placed third among reasons for acute death and first among reasons for neurological dysfunction in the western world. Its impact and consequences, however, are even more devastating in developing countries, where according to WHO estimates, death from stroke accounted for 85.5% of stroke deaths worldwide in 2001, and the number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), i.e. years of life lost and years lived with disability, was almost seven times higher than in high-income countries. In China, in particular, stroke is the leading cause of death, and it strikes earlier in life than it does in the western world. Its treatment relies to a great extent on the information provided by diagnostic methodologies, which are necessary to guide medical experts in choosing a treatment strategy and to assess its efficiency.

This project will build on existing expertise by the project partners in the UK and China towards the development of a portable and low-cost system which can detect the occurrence, and monitor the evolution of stroke and its treatment using microwave technology. The proposed system will use low-power, non-ionizing radio waves (microwaves) to image the occurrence and evolution of stroke in an accurate manner, thereby removing the need for expensive imaging systems (such as CT scans) which would result in significant delays in treatment decisions.

This approach can address several clinical needs. For example, the system can be used inside an ambulance to determine the type of stroke much earlier than CT scanners inside a hospital. This is particularly important for ischemic stroke patients (which account for over 80% of total cases), for which early detection is crucial for thrombolytic treatment (i.e. blood thinners that can dissolve clots in blood vessels due to ischemic stroke but would worsen the condition of a blood vessel rupture occurring in hemorrhagic stroke). Moreover, by serving as a point of care diagnostic tool for patients at their homes, the proposed approach can lead to more efficient management of stroke in the post-acute stage, which can improve the potential recovery of the patient. The scanner can therefore revolutionise stroke therapy and recovery in communities where CT or MRI equipment is scarce or not available, such as underdeveloped or rural areas in China and other ODA countries.

The project will develop the microwave device relying on academic and industrial UK expertise in microwave imaging algorithms and instrumentation. In addition to offering academic expertise in microwave medical imaging, the project's ODA partners will accelerate the proposed device's pathway to clinical use through a network of hospitals and medical centres and cooperation with over 35 hospitals across 30 cities in China in the planning of clinical trials. Although delivered in China, the project can make a difference in many developing countries where stroke is emerging as a health threat also for younger populations (e.g. South Asian countries), as the targeted device will be affordable and simple enough to use.

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